Performance, education, and collaborative research for health, justice, and community-building.

Guiding Values

Priorities for communication during It Is In You events, workshops, or longterm-projects are three-part.

  1. To produce knowledge and culture collaboratively

  2. To understand and potentially change behavior contextually

  3. To share tactics and strategies for reforming institutions, collectively

Paying attention to heroes of hers—in admired and partnering organizations, mentors, and collaborators—Marie orients It Is In You research and teaching across 3 priorities.

  1. To generate more nuanced understandings of inequities and social, economic, policy, and institutional dysfunctions that shape our local communities and their global contexts

  2. To identify and support community-generated insights from among affected groups

  3. To mobilize unique resources for intervention devoted to:

    • claiming and organizing through the lens of individuals' and communities’ lived dignity, knowledges, and social/cultural assets

    • restoring rights in policy and/or practice

    • revealing and seeking to transform oppressive systems of exclusion, occurring by calculation or by “default”

    • activating creative communication, to include oral history and storytelling, arts and performance-based programming to reflect and potentially change cultures of knowing, being, believing, and doing

Engaged Scholarship

As a PhD candidate in Communication at UNC Chapel Hill, Marie focuses on Performance and Cultural Studies, with a certificate in Interdisciplinary Health Communication.

At UNC-CH, Marie teaches and designs courses in Cultural Difference (Cultural Diversity), Performance Ethnography (Performance and Culture), Performance and Social Change, Introduction to Performance, and special topics service-learning in Communication and African, African-American and Diaspora Studies.

Engaged scholarship in classrooms and communities is both informed by and informs It Is In You projects like Flipping Cancer, The Lilies Project, and I'm Not Done, through which Marie offers health communication and performance workshops for patients, caregivers, healthcare providers, and policy-focused advocates for health justice across fields.


Creative Communication for Civic Change

Marie is a certified InterPlay leader, with programmatic experience in Arts + Social Change and workshops for persons and communities facing cancer, and health-related inequities. With gratitude, Marie currently trains with the African American Dance Ensemble (apprentice dancer), and is a facilitator and an actor with Theater Delta (touring professionally for research-based forum theater on health and social change issues).

She's honored to collaborate in ongoing live performance and organizing/advocacy work for the Forward Together Movement (NAACP NC), WomenNC and International Women’s Day, Triangle Interfaith Alliance; and is co-founder of the Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS with Dr. “Baba” Chuck Davis.

As led by loving investments from teachers, mentors, fellow artists and collaborators, her projects “It is In You: Health Justice Performance in Tanzania” (2008-2011) and “Flipping Cancer.” (2014-) have toured nationally and internationally to conferences, clinics, and classrooms, as keynotes and in residencies.

Sample Workshop Principles:

“Cultivating Communication Skills for Leaders”

  • Team and Skills-Building Workshop for staff and academic advisory leaders with 90, 75, and 60 minute formats, optional follow-up evaluation and refresher resource guide 

  • This workshop will train participants in practical communication techniques, creatively implemented to 

    • Center — connect to leadership priorities, manage and relieve stress

    • Clarify — discern barriers to goals, identify team assets to amplify

    • Create — make and collaborate with integrity and energy

    • Activate — enliven mission, partnerships, and growth with purpose 

Our Workshop Themes Include:

  • Leadership and Team Building

    • Learn and practice memorable techniques to strengthen interpersonal communication 

    • Promote ease in team decision-making

    • Cultivate shared ownership of project priorities

  • Affirm and Discern for Growth

    • Appreciative Inquiry facilitation—discern core principles of what’s already working well for EAP leaders

    • Practice communication techniques to invest in strengths

    • Communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders—e.g., government, private sector, community leaders

  • Face Challenges with Clarity

    • Discern communication gaps that undergird 3 group-identified barriers to implementing EAP vision

    • Learn and practice immediate stress management techniques to promote problem solving, resilience, creative and strategic thinking

    • Why do we do what we do? Connecting what matters to how we show up as EAP leaders